2016 Joye in Aiken Festival to Feature Expanded Line-up of World-class Artists

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Riley MulherkarTHOROUGHBRED COUNTRY, S.C., FEBRUARY 2016 – A Grammy-winning organist.  A finalist from NBC’s “The Voice.”  North America’s foremost wind ensemble.  When the annual Joye in Aiken Performing Arts Festival and Outreach Program comes roaring back March 5-12, it will bring some familiar names, some up-and-coming stars and an even more spectacular explosion than usual of musicianship and talent.

For the first time, the Festival will expand its reach to include both artists from The Juilliard School, and other musicians of world-class caliber selected by internationally renowned pianist and Juilliard alumna Elizabeth Joy Roe, Joye in Aiken’s 2016 Festival Curator.

“With Elizabeth on board, we can make full use of her professional connections at Juilliard and around the world to bring in the very best of the best,” said Sandra Field, president of the organization.  “The great majority of the artists coming are still Juilliard students, faculty, or alumni.  But we’ll also be featuring some very special guest artists from elsewhere.”

Leading off the Festival will be Grammy-winning organist Paul Jacobs, Chair of Juilliard’s Organ Department, who will present recitals in Aiken and Augusta on the Festival’s opening weekend.

Also on Sunday, Imani Winds, considered North America’s premier wind ensemble, will perform in St. Mary’s new sanctuary, a first-time Festival venue.

Tuesday brings the much-heralded return of trumpeter Riley Mulherkar and his jazz ensemble in “In the Land of Oo-Bla-Dee,” a free Second Baptist program featuring the compositions of South Carolina native Dizzy Gillespie.

The week continues with a day of solos on Wednesday by Juilliard alumni:  Sean Chen, the charismatic young Crystal Award winner of the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition; and Will Liverman, currently with the Atlanta Opera, who was the grand finalist of the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.

Thursday’s triple-threat lineup includes Juilliard’s 15- and 17-year-old pre-college students Qing Yu Chen, violin, and Nadia Azzi, piano, in First Presbyterian’s free Midday Music Series; chamber group Decoda at St. John’s Methodist at 7:30 p.m.; and the hugely popular Jazz After Hours at the Willcox.

The week of can’t-miss performances ends with a finale concert featuring the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo, Sean Chen, Decoda, the pre-college duo, and the “vocal fireworks” of special guest artists Accent (an a capella group of six young singers from five different countries) and India Carney, a recent finalist on NBC’s “The Voice,” who will perform with the jazz ensemble.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Feb. 1.  For information and to buy tickets, visit www.JoyeinAiken.com.

2016 Joye in Aiken Festival Schedule

Saturday, March 5, 2016
Paul Jacobs, Organist in recital; 8 p.m.
St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church
125 Pendleton Street SW, Aiken, SC 29801
Aiken, SC
FREE and open to the public
Limited seating: For reservations, please contact the Church Office (803-648-5497)

Sunday, March 6, 2016
Imani Winds; 3 p.m.
St Mary’s Help of Christians Catholic Church
138 Fairfield Street SE
Aiken, SC
Tickets $30: Students $10: Available online or contact the Aiken Community Playhouse Box Office (803-648-1438)

Paul Jacobs, Organist, in recital; 4 p.m.
Sacred Heart Cultural Center
1301 Greene Street
Augusta, GA 30901
Tickets $30: Students $10: Available online or contact the Sacred Heart Cultural Center at 706-826-4700

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
In the Land of Oo-Bla-Dee: The World of Dizzy Gillespie: Riley Mulherkar; 7:30 p.m.
Second Baptist Church
425 Hampton Avenue NW
Aiken, SC 29801
FREE and Open to the public:
For reservations, please contact the Church Office (803-644-3994)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Will Liverman, Baritone;  Daniel Fung, Collaborative Pianist; 2 p.m.
Aiken Community Playhouse
126 Newberry St. SW
Aiken, SC 29801
Tickets $25, Students $10: Available online or contact the ACP Box Office (803-648-1438)

Sean Chen, pianist; 8 p.m.
Aiken Community Playhouse
126 Newberry St. SW
Aiken, SC 29801
Tickets $25, Students $10: Available online or contact the ACP Box Office (803-648-1438)

Thursday, March 10, 2016
Noon Midday Music Concert Series and Tea; 12 p.m.
Pre-College Chamber Duo: Quing Yu Chen, violin; Nadia Azzi, pianist
First Presbyterian Church
224 Barnwell Avenue
Aiken, SC 29801
FREE and Open to the Public
General Admission on first come first served basis; doors open at 11:30 a.m.

Trustees Featured Performer Series; 7:30 p.m.
Decoda: Owen Dalby, violin; Meena Bhasin, viola; Claire Bryant, cello; Alicia Lee, clarinet
St. John’s United Methodist Church
104 Newberry Street NW, Aiken, SC 29801
Tickets $25, Students $10: Available online or contact the Aiken Community Playhouse Box Office (803-648-1438)

Riley Mulherkar, Jazz After Hours at The Willcox; 9 p.m.
100 Colleton Avenue
Aiken, SC 29801
FREE and Open to the Public

Friday, March 11
Finale Concert; 8 p.m.
Anderson & Roe Piano Duo, Pre-College Chamber Duo, Sean Chen, Decoda
Special Guest Artists: Accent and Riley Mulherkar with jazz vocalist India Carney
USC Aiken Etherredge Center
471 University Parkway
Aiken, SC
Tickets $40, $65; Students $10: Available online or contact the Etherredge Center Box Office (803-641-3305)